One of the most widely sold mineral water brands in Argentina comes from Villavicencio, a private nature reserve located on the way to Uspallata, about an hour from downtown Mendoza. It is a historic route because General San Martin took it on his way to Chile to free Argentina from the Spanish crown. The road leading up to Villavicencio has a dizzying 365 curves and has been given the name “Camino del Año” or “Road of the Year”. On the reserve is a picturesque hotel and spa built in 1940, where the wealthiest families in Mendoza used to summer vacation, bathing in the crystal mountain waters and natural hot springs. Today, the hotel has been named a National Historic Monument. It's closed to the public, but you can hike around the hotel and surrounding nature reserve. There's a $25 peso entrance fee that includes a guided visit. It's open from Tuesday to Sunday, 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM.
By Nora Walsh, AFAR Contributor
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Mendoza, Capital Department, Mendoza Province, Argentina